Parents ask their kids and kids ask their parents: “Are you listening to me?”
Here are some handy tips to ensure both parties are communicating effectively and feel confident that each other cares about what they have to say:
- Teach your child how to listen. This includes eye contact, body language, and repeating what has been said.
- Speak slightly quieter than usual so your child has to work to hear what you are saying.
- Make eye contact when you speak, so you can gauge whether or not they hear and understand what you’re saying.
- Practice! Have discussions with your family about what you see on TV, read online, or see while driving to soccer practice. Speak with your kids about what’s happening at school and with their friends.
- Respect each other and use a courteous tone of voice. Avoid talking down to your child, or raising your voice to dominate the conversation. Showing respect even in heated moments will show your children how to communicate effectively.
- Give praise to your child when s/he deserves it. Praise helps build confidence and reinforces that you are engaged in your child’s life and proud of their accomplishments. Unkind words can quickly ruin a child’s self-esteem: words from a parent can be taken to heart and not quickly forgotten.
- Show excitement when your child is speaking to you. Say things such as “No kidding,” “Tell me more,” and “Really?” to demonstrate your interest.
- No child is ever too old to hear the words “I love you.” Say it often and be sure they understand you mean it.
- Give your full attention when having a conversation with your child. Stop texting, put down the paper, turn off the TV. Stop and make eye contact, listen to what they are saying, and respond appropriately before returning to other tasks. If you give the courtesy of truly listening, your child will do the same.Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.